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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Wednesday, March 28, 2012 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]



REPORTER: Regarding a different matter, the Government of the Republic of Korea (ROK) has issued a statement explaining that it strongly protests the fact that a high school textbook that asserts Japan's territorial rights over Takeshima has passed the screening. What is the view of the Government on this? Also, if the Government plans to take any response measures, can you share that with us?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: Textbook screening was conducted for books authored and edited by private textbook companies, through the academic and expert deliberations of the Textbook Authorization Council based on the curriculum guidelines and screening criteria. It is correct that on March 27, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the ROK made a protest of some kind to the Embassy of Japan in ROK regarding the handling of the Takeshima issue under the Japan's high school textbook screening. Our attitude always remains unchanged. Japan responded that it cannot accept the protest from the ROK side. Japan dealt with this and will continue to do so based on Japan's consistent position on the Takeshima issue.

REPORTER: I have a question about a different matter, regarding Japan's sanction measures against North Korea. These measures will expire on April 13. Does it mean that these measures will be extended?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: This is in the context that the North Korean side has taken no tangible actions toward resolving the outstanding issues involving North Korea. Taking in account the situations surrounding North Korea as a whole, it is believed that the measures against North Korea need to be continued. These measures include a ban on North Korean vessels making port calls in Japan and a ban on exports and imports to and from North Korea. As these measures will expire on April 13, the Government is internally making the arrangements for the necessary procedures toward that direction, bearing in mind the current situations surrounding North Korea.

REPORTER: Regarding the same topic, by around when does the Government intend to obtain the Cabinet's approval?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: As the measures will be expiring on April 13, I believe you can assume that this will happen sometime by then.

REPORTER: There seem to be some opinions in favor of additional sanctions. Is the Government considering this as well?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: As I stated a moment ago, as of now we still have not seen any tangible actions from North Korea. It is not that there are any additional measures of some kind. This is not anticipated at this moment in time.

REPORTER: I have a question on Oi Nuclear Power Station. Regarding the review findings from the stress tests of Reactors No. 3 and No. 4, there are some news reports which state that an explanation will also be given to Governor Keiji Yamada of Kyoto, and that is the intention. Can you verify the facts?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: To give you the facts, first, Governor Yukiko Kada of Shiga Prefecture requested an explanation, and so I believe the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) will be going there to explain tomorrow in response to the requests. The other point is that the Governor of Kyoto, too, has requested an explanation. As a matter of process I believe NISA will be going there to explain. They are going there essentially to explain the facts, including the review findings from the stress tests.

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